Big names Do More Good at national nonprofit branding conference

Founded as a 501(c)(3) in January of this year, Do More Good seeks to help nonprofits brand and market themselves so they can … well … do more good. According to founder Bill McKendry (Hanon McKendry), and executive director Katie Appold, one of the first orders of business was to put together a national conference for nonprofits in Grand Rapids. The pair ambitiously sent out invitations to seven world-renowned professionals with nonprofit branding expertise, hoping to find one to do a keynote address. Five said “yes.” Those five wowed representatives from roughly 150 nonprofits attending the Do More Good Conference on Grand Rapids’ west side on October 10.

“I think we equipped a lot of organizations to go back to their donors and board members to make the case for growing awareness, that they can’t totally rely on fundraising,” Appold says. “There is a bigger piece they have to work on.” McKendry adds,

“Fundraising is one-to-one. Marketing is one-to-many. Marketing creates the environment to make fundraising successful.”

Speakers at the conference included Jimmy Smith, chairman and COO of Amusement Park, who has done work with Smithsonian, One Show, Cannes, D&AD, ANDYs, AICP, and TIME magazine, received an Emmy nomination (Gatorade Replay), and appeared as a judge on VH1’s Model Employee; Elizabeth West, chief strategist in branding and marketing at Dunham+Company, a firm that helps nonprofits with fundraising, marketing, and media expertise; Bill High, CEO of The Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation, author of "Charity Shock: Ten Critical Trends Revolutionizing Fundraising" and recognized as one of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers; and Melissa Randall of Lean Labs, who writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. McKendry also presented. His accolades in the advertising world, especially with nonprofits, span decades of awards, speaking tours, and boots-on-the-ground experience.

“Not only did they appreciate the information that was shared, but the demeanor,” McKendry says, adding that the message wasn’t, “These are things we should maybe do,” but, “This is what you ought to be doing and if you ain’t doing it, you ain’t doing your job.”

Based in Spring Lake, Do More Good is already planning on hosting another national conference in Grand Rapids on October 1, 2020. In addition, five additional regional conferences are on the nonprofit’s 2020 calendar.

McKendry concludes, “How bad do you want to do good? The competition for nonprofits is not another nonprofit. It’s peoples’ discretionary time and people’s discretionary money. The competition is Nike, Harley Davidson, McDonalds. If you’re not communicating at that level, you’re going to lose this war. If you rely on fundraising, you don’t have that balanced attack. If the level of communication is not as good as what the market sees every day, you’re using only one arm, not both.”

Written by Estelle Slootmaker, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy Do More Good

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